Yoga and Teaching
Anabela Solis shares how she went from an English teacher to a Yoga teacher. Read her story below.
My yoga story started in 2004 when I was 22 years old. I had been living in the USA for a year and when I returned to my home country, Argentina, my mom invited me to accompany her to her yoga class. I had never been much of a sporty person so doing yoga was ok for me so as to do some kind of physical activity. I didn’t realize how good it was until a year later when my university exams started and I began to take deep breaths before doing them. One day it just hit me, I was putting into practice the breathing techniques I had learnt in yoga. Allow me to mention that my yoga teacher, who was in her 70s at the time, was the most extraordinary woman of her age I had met. Unfortunately, she soon decided to stop teaching yoga so as to take care of her mother who was in her 90s.
Some years went by and once again, I wasn’t doing any sports, only occasionally did I ride my bike to go to different places. 2012 started with a promotion at work but I suddenly found myself working from 10 to 12 hours daily, being completely stressed out, sleeping for hours on end at the weekend and feeling exhausted. I knew that I couldn’t continue living like that for longer so in 2013 I decided to take a gap year from one of my jobs in order to have free time (in Argentina it’s quite common for teachers to have more than a job at the time) … all that I wanted was some free time. With that came the urge to start “moving my body”. “What do I like doing? What made me feel good in the past?” The answer came easily: YOGA. I started my yoga journey once again. It was quite embarrassing at the beginning given that my classmates were elder women who could stretch and touched their toes easily (something that I was far from doing). As it is often the case with yoga, first I felt the benefits of the practice at a physical level: more flexibility, feeling lighter, better sleep at night, not feeling “heavy”. But that was just the beginning, as classes went by something started to change inside me. I was asking myself questions; I was becoming aware of the things that I needed to heal…
One of the turning points in my yoga journey has been the moment when my boyfriend and I broke up. For me it was unforeseen but at the same time I felt that it was the opportunity to apply in my life everything I had learnt through yoga, meditation and reading tons of self-help books. I allowed myself to cry and feel all sorts of feelings, from anger through disappointment and sadness; my yoga classes and meditation became a lifejacket. The obvious question, “Why is this happening to me?” became “What is expected from me? What kind of response am I going to give to this?” So, I soon got over my break-up and continued diving deep into my soul.
A second turning point in my yoga journey happened while I was teaching an English class. One day in 2016, one of my students told me that she had a rush all over her body as she was really nervous with all the arrangements for her wedding. She was under so much stressed that her body had started to react. I suggested taking deep breaths and meditating. Knowing that I did yoga on a regular basis the whole class suggested “trying” yoga instead. So the following class we did YOGA; it was relaxing and moving for everyone and life-transforming for me, as I saw there was a path before me that I could start to walk. If I could include yoga in my English classes that could help my students to relax and give them tools to apply on their hectic routines. At that time I was also working at a high school so I added yoga to my classes with teenagers as well. The result was that yoga worked wonders for all.
The time came when I made up my mind to do a Yoga Teacher Training. And I recently qualified as a Yoga teach in December. I love to travel and I’ve been fortunate to be able to visit some amazing places in the world. My yoga journey, however, has been one of the most valuable, inspiring, satisfying journeys I’ve ever taken.
I believe I’ve been blessed for English and Yoga are both universal. Spanish is my native language but I can travel the world and communicate in English with the power of Yoga. At the moment, I’m standing at another turning point in my life: I have my stuff packed ready to board a plane that will take me to Australia where a new chapter in my life will begin. I am so thankful I couldn’t ask life for more.
Follow Anabela - @ana.en.el.mundo